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Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi has revealed how members of the House of Assembly forfeited many years of their constituency project funds to enable him to complete the Muhammadu Buhari International Airport.
Umahi spoke made this revelation during a test run of flight operations at the airport. According to him, the Francis Nwafuru-led assembly made tremendous sacrifices for the actualisation of the airport which he said cost N36 billion.
He said: ‘When we were seeking N10 billion to procure equipment for the airport, the speaker recalled the members who were on recess to approve the fund. The members did not only approve the fund, they also forfeited their three-year constituency project funds to ensure the project is completed.’
The governor also thanked President Buhari for his ‘unquantified’ support towards realisation of the airport.
‘The president approved N10 billion for the construction of the domestic and international wings. When we were constrained on funds to procure equipment, he directed the ministry of finance to source funds for us even if it is a loan. The airport is named after Buhari as approved by the House of Assembly and if you say he is not good to you, he is to me and Ebonyi.
‘We will continue loving him and before a fortnight, he will be in Ebonyi to inaugurate the project,’ he added.
Umahi said the government would prevail on the Federal Government to take over the airport and concession it. He noted that the airport has already created over 500 jobs.
Representative of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Oladipo Adebayo called on the people to maintain and protect the airport’s facilities because it has ‘opened them to the world’.